Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Mannkal Student Internship Blog

Amy Thomasson – Regulation, Competition, and The Internet of Things l Week 4

Amy Thomasson

6 February 2017

The Initiative’s immigration report was released on Monday and it was very well-received. It has reminded people of the consensus that once existed that immigration is a good thing, and will hopefully sway some critics (that, of course, would require them to actually read the report, which is a battle in itself – I’m looking at you, Winston Peters).

I did a media wrap-up for the Initiative’s blog, which you can find here: https://initiativeblog.com/2017/02/02/the-new-new-zealanders-media-mentions/

Selfies at Wellington Museum

I’ve moved on to everything internet – parallel importing, technological protection measures, the right to be forgotten, and everything in between. It’s all part of the research the Initiative is doing into digital regulations in New Zealand, an aspect of the law that I am particularly passionate about.

One of the many valuable skills this internship is helping me to develop is an ability to write so that people who aren’t legal academics or experts can understand not only what is happening in this sphere, but the magnitude of these issues. Digital regulations are not things that the average person on the street would spend much time thinking about on a daily basis, but they really should start, given how much of our lives we spend online.

There’s a lot of grey areas in the law at the moment, especially when it comes to circumventing technological protection measures (i.e. when you use Hola! so you can access American Netflix from Australia). As a general rule of thumb, regulators in this sphere tend to be overcautious when they’re making new laws, which can come at the cost of accessibility for consumers and stymie competition.This is particularly evident when it comes to regulations surrounding Uber and Airbnb – economists have long been aware that competition delivers safety and quality far more effectively than cumbersome regulations.

It’s high time regulators realised this.

On the weekend I went to the Wellington Museum where there was a particularly interesting exhibit that gave you two versions of history and asked you to vote for which you preferred. I also went to the underground markets they on the Waterfront hold on Saturdays, enjoying a $5 curry while sat on the harbour.

There’s a long weekend coming up so I’m hoping to get out of Wellington – I’m planning to head to one of the nearby suburbs (there’s apparently a very good English shop in Petone, so I might stock up on some of my favourite delicacies), and get up to the Mount Victoria Lookout.

Ciao for now!

Waterfront markets

Museum exhibit

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